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Zombie Satellite Causes Astronomical Buzz
Yahoo ^ | 5-11-10 | Claudine Zap

Posted on 05/11/2010 4:34:59 AM PDT by Vaquero

Don't be alarmed. High above your heads, a zombie satellite is on the loose. OK, actually, it won't really be a bother to us earthlings. Or at least to most of us. (More on that later.) But the rogue communications satellite is wreaking havoc in Earth's orbit and does threaten to interfere with signals coming from other satellites. Here's the backstory...

(Excerpt) Read more at buzz.yahoo.com ...


TOPICS: Science
KEYWORDS: junk; satellites; space; zombies

Zombie Satellites???

Oooooooooo.....SCARY!!!!

1 posted on 05/11/2010 4:34:59 AM PDT by Vaquero
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To: KevinDavis

Ping


2 posted on 05/11/2010 4:35:51 AM PDT by Vaquero (BHO....'The Pretenda from Kenya')
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To: Vaquero

3 posted on 05/11/2010 4:39:51 AM PDT by Vaquero (BHO....'The Pretenda from Kenya')
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To: Vaquero
Image of rogue satellite captured by Hubble telescope:


4 posted on 05/11/2010 4:43:23 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Vaquero

OK. Somebody explain how a communication satellite ‘wanders’ from its assigned orbital position? Isn’t Isaac Newton in the driver’s seat? These things are in geostationary orbit, so it’s not like atmospheric drag could be the culprit. Did it somehow fire a steering thruster when it ‘died’?

And if this was a solar flare that killed the sat, why didn’t the communications payload get ‘fried’ in the process? Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.


5 posted on 05/11/2010 4:45:27 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: Tallguy
OK. Somebody explain how a communication satellite ‘wanders’ from its assigned orbital position? Isn’t Isaac Newton in the driver’s seat? These things are in geostationary orbit, so it’s not like atmospheric drag could be the culprit. Did it somehow fire a steering thruster when it ‘died’?

That's one possibility. It could have been hit by space debris that threw it off.

6 posted on 05/11/2010 4:48:18 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: Vaquero
Someone will have too call the space tow truck to haul this clunker to the junkyard.

Hey, it sounds like an idea for a Sci-Fi story.

7 posted on 05/11/2010 4:49:54 AM PDT by csvset
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To: Tallguy
Actually...

But instead of just dying and drifting off, the satellite has continued to orbit the Earth, even though it refuses to receive instructions from its owner, Intelsat.

Apparently the real problem is that it's still in its orbit and "stealing" sat communications.

8 posted on 05/11/2010 4:50:40 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: Tallguy
Possibly a thruster mis-fire. Also possibly a micro-meteor hit. If it it kicked in a bit of retrograde velocity, then you'd get an orbit with an apogee at GEO and a perigee approaching LEO.

Don't know the facts, just hazarding a guess...

9 posted on 05/11/2010 4:51:27 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Tallguy

When you burn your finger, does your foot still work?


10 posted on 05/11/2010 4:57:04 AM PDT by G Larry (DNC is comprised of REGRESSIVES!)
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To: Vaquero
>"a zombie satellite is on the loose."

So what? We've had one in the White House for years.


11 posted on 05/11/2010 5:10:06 AM PDT by scoobysnak71 (Never argue with stupid people. They drag you down to their level and win through experience.)
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To: Jonah Hex

ROFL! Thats some modified death star.
Does it home in on FOX news?


12 posted on 05/11/2010 5:11:36 AM PDT by silverleaf
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To: Tallguy
From some article on the Internet:
The main source of perturbation for a satellite in GSO is the combined gravitational attractions of the Sun and Moon, which causes the orbital inclination to increase by nearly one degree per year. This is countered by a north-south station-keeping maneuver about once every two weeks so as to keep the satellite within 0.05° of the equatorial plane. The average annual velocity change (delta v) needed is about 50 m/s, which represents 95% of the total station-keeping propellant budget. Additionally, the bulge of the Earth causes a longitudinal drift, which is compensated by east-west station-keeping maneuvers about once a week, with an annual delta v of less than 2 m/s, to keep the satellite within 0.05° of its assigned longitude. Finally, solar radiation pressure caused by the transfer of momentum from the Sun's light and infrared radiation both flattens the orbit and disturbs the orientation of the satellite. The orbit is compensated by an eccentricity control maneuver that can sometimes be combined with east-west stationkeeping, whereas satellite's orientation is maintained by momentum wheels supplemented by magnetic torquers and thrusters. Ion propulsion systems, notably XIPS, are being used increasingly for station-keeping.

13 posted on 05/11/2010 5:21:08 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The issue of whether cheap labor makes America great should have been settled by the Civil War.)
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To: Vaquero

I thought everyone knew that any satellites that accidentally go out of their announced orbits are, in actual fact, secret CIA/KGB/MI5 spy cameras scoping out ChiComs/CapitalistOppressors/WorldCupFootie.

Or have I been reading too much Tom Clancy?


14 posted on 05/11/2010 5:22:35 AM PDT by Eepsy (www.pioacademy.org)
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To: Eepsy
Or have I been reading too much Tom Clancy?

Dale Brown. ;-)

15 posted on 05/11/2010 5:39:10 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Tallguy; raybbr
OK. Somebody explain how a communication satellite ‘wanders’ from its assigned orbital position? Isn’t Isaac Newton in the driver’s seat?

Suggest you research solar wind, oblate spheroid shape of the earth, n-body problem, micro-meteors, for starters on your question about Isaac Newton.

Did it somehow fire a steering thruster when it ‘died’?

Possible... Additionally, the article uses the term "fried" referring to the controlling hardware/software of the satellite ground control order reception/execution system. This scientific term could have referred to anything from a simple break in a single circuit to a completely melted chip. The point is that depending upon the circuit's physical placement, shielding, circuit redundancy, program fault tolerance, etc., it vulnerability to an external disruption (either physical material like a micro-meteor or radiation from a solar flare, etc.) could be greater than the communication circuitry. Additionally, the programming in the control program would probably have been much more complex in the execution loops and thus more vulnerable to information/coding loss. Such a loss could have been responsible for an errant command to fire a thruster, loss of command signal processing or execution, etc.
16 posted on 05/11/2010 5:41:36 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: KevinDavis

ping


17 posted on 05/11/2010 6:00:20 AM PDT by GeronL (http://tyrannysentinel.blogspot.com)
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To: Vaquero

I’m reminded of the opening scene in “Wall-E” where the camera zooms down toward Earth thru a cloud of dead communication satellites still in orbit.


18 posted on 05/11/2010 6:01:19 AM PDT by 6SJ7 (atlasShruggedInd = TRUE)
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To: Jonah Hex; Vaquero
Stay away from that Obama Death Star!


19 posted on 05/11/2010 6:04:56 AM PDT by Constitution Day
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To: Vaquero; Slings and Arrows; JoeProBono

20 posted on 05/11/2010 6:44:17 AM PDT by a fool in paradise (The hysteria of Matthewsism and Andersonism has led to a Tea Party Scare that is unAmerican.)
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To: a fool in paradise

21 posted on 05/11/2010 6:51:07 AM PDT by Jonah Hex ("Never underestimate the hungover side of the Force.")
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To: Vaquero

Galaxy 15 started to become unresponsive and Galaxy 12 was moved to it’s orbital position and the workload was transfered on 4-18-10. G15 will burn up nicely.


22 posted on 05/11/2010 7:16:37 AM PDT by gilor (Pull the wool over your own eyes!)
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To: Lucky Dog

I almost added solar wind to the list but honestly I can’t envision it having enough energy to shift the orbit of a satellite.


23 posted on 05/11/2010 7:57:01 AM PDT by raybbr (Someone who invades another country is NOT an immigrant - illegal or otherwise.)
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To: raybbr
The effect is, in deed, typically very small. Nonetheless, it is present and the surface area exposed and length of time for exposure are factors.

Added to other potential factors it can have a cumulative influence especially in possible, synergistic combination with magnetic or gravity anomalies (e.g., small unobserved asteroid) and other unplanned events, e.g. propellent tank leak, etc.

The point was that there are a number of potential sources, either singly, or in combination, that can account for orbital drift.
24 posted on 05/11/2010 9:38:55 AM PDT by Lucky Dog
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To: G Larry
When you burn your finger, does your foot still work?

When you stick your cat in the microwave does it just 'limp a bit' on exiting? Solar flares are not usually selective in their affects. Now it may happen that the comm gear is 'hardened' to a greater degree against radiation, but nobody has suggested that this is the case.

25 posted on 05/11/2010 10:35:16 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: Moonman62

Thanks, Moonman. That’s the kind of stuff I was looking for. I wasn’t sure that solar ‘pressure’ would have a measurable affect. I hadn’t even considered and tendency for a change in orbital inclination. Fascinating stuff.


26 posted on 05/11/2010 10:37:42 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: RandallFlagg

Zombie ping!


27 posted on 05/11/2010 10:40:37 AM PDT by CholeraJoe ("And the pony looked a little bored...")
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To: Lucky Dog

Thanks, LD. It’s the difference between ‘ideal’ & ‘real world’ physics. IOW’s all the stuff that we neglect in our High School physics equations are coming into play in with measurable affects.

Hadn’t considered a lot of this stuff, but I can see how the drift can be rather large over time.


28 posted on 05/11/2010 10:41:43 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: Vaquero

bflr


29 posted on 05/11/2010 10:44:40 AM PDT by Captain Beyond (The Hammer of the gods! (Just a cool line from a Led Zep song))
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To: Tallguy

Nobody suggested the flare was selective, but I certainly was suggesting that not all parts have the same vulnerabiities.


30 posted on 05/11/2010 11:09:26 AM PDT by G Larry (DNC is comprised of REGRESSIVES!)
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To: G Larry

I thought that you were just having some fun with me, and I just gave it back a little!


31 posted on 05/11/2010 11:45:35 AM PDT by Tallguy ("The sh- t's chess, it ain't checkers!" -- Alonzo (Denzel Washington) in "Training Day")
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To: CholeraJoe; Delta 21; Nikas777; NoAmnesty; Yorlik803; TheOldLady; The Comedian; OB1kNOb; ...


Thanks for the ping, CholeraJoe.
32 posted on 05/11/2010 2:57:56 PM PDT by RandallFlagg (30-year smoker, E-Cigs helped me quit, and O wants me back smoking again?)
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To: gilor

Only satellites in low earth orbit (~500 mi up) get affected and slowly dragged down into the atmosphere, burning up. G15 is in geostationary orbit - 22,000 mi up. Long ways down from there - that sucker will orbit the Earth until the end of time.

The big issue is that the satellite still has its transponders on full blast and pointed at the Earth. This will jam ground terminals that are linked to satellites adjacent to G15.


33 posted on 05/11/2010 3:54:19 PM PDT by too_cool_for_skool
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To: too_cool_for_skool

I just read that by the end of May G15 might interfer with AMC11. They are going to try and blast it again and hopefully force a shutdaown (not likely).


34 posted on 05/12/2010 5:42:37 AM PDT by gilor (Pull the wool over your own eyes!)
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